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Sargassum is one of the larger sancts of Straylight, and the one with the highest population density. With over thirty thousand people living on a platform of a meager 0.026 km² of habitational platform space, the density is a rather impressive 1.2 million people/km²). While this COSAC-run sanct used to be one of the most respected works of Dante McCallavre, it has fallen into disrepair and disrepute over the years.

Being located somewhat out of the way of the usual Straylightian merchant routes, Sargassum was never designed to exploit the benefits of hop-shipping. Instead, it was designed for (and named after) a grand experiment: Large-scale mariculture, in the form of seaweed farming. Sargassum's economy is basically dependent on the artificial kelp forests around it. Unfortunately, mariculture as it is practised in Sargassum is extremely labor-intensive. The teeming masses of Sargassians are mostly poorly educated and financially below the Shirithian poverty level: Tending the kelp forests is economically viable, but only barely enough to sustain a sanct with the population of Sargassum.

The kelp forests of Sargassum are grown on special artificial floating harnesses. Each harness is essentially a wireframe cube with ropes draped along every face except two, which are usually named "front" and "back". Specially engineered seaweed strains are introduced to each cube and allowed to grow along the ropes and inside the cube, and periodically harvested.

The flotation of these harnesses can be modified. A common way to harvest kelp is to raise the cube high enough for a boat to enter in through a ropeless face and for farmers to harvest the seaweed out of the ropes by hand into tugs. Richer farmers generally simply drape a tight net along the bottom of a cube, raise the cube completely out of the water and give it a good shake - properly engineered strains will simply fall right off into the net, making collecting seaweed extremely easy. However, this process tends to be too intensive for older and rustier harnesses, so after a few dozen years they're usually sold off to poorer farmers (usually at exorbinant prices, incidentally).

There have been attempts to ship in iron for fertilisation, but they have uniformly been economically unviable.

Sargassian culture, despite the poor living conditions - or perhaps because of them - is relatively unique and highly developed. Some genres of music, such as Blueweed, Ladqui and the somewhat depressing Ultrablues, were essentially created in Sargassum, and the last of them is only popular inside the sanct.

Sargassum has also given its name to one of the many psychological effects surrounding life on sancts, quite simply the Sargassum Effect. This effect is caused by the disparity of information about the world outside of Sargassum and the local social structure:

Unlike the people of most extremely poor nations, Sargassians understand exactly what situation they are in. Sargassian coverage of news of the outside world is accurate, and information is very cheaply available on any nation of the world at the public libraries ran by various charities. As a result, over 20% of the population claims that if they had the resources for a trip to a wealthier sanct like Discontinuity, or maybe somewhere not even on a sanct, they would move out in a heartbeat.

On the other hand, Sargassum is quite different from the traditional village or city one would leave. Having existed for hundreds of years in relative isolation, without much of a government or written law, and having extremely well defined physical borders, Sargassum has become one of the most closely-knit communities on the planet despite its high population. Sargassian social rituals are deeply entrenched and complex, and the locals don't really have a choice other than to identify themselves as Sargassian for life.

As a result of the conflicting forces acting here, relatively few Sargassians who claim to want to move out of the sanct can actually adjust to the changes in their life that this entails. They tend to soon find themselves homesick for Sargassian social values, Sargassian music, Sargassian crowding, and of course the everpresent Sargassian smell (the seaweed and the barely-sufficient plumbing infrastructure together create an odor that's one of the reasons why the sanct is considered so isolated).

There is an aerial image of Sargassum available. Note that the background of this image is coloured dark blue to match the background colour of Shireroth's forum.